Here in the beautiful Umpqua Valley, we have noticed many similarities between EVOO and wine.
As a general rule, more people are familiar with wine than EVOO.
Below is a comparison to shed some light on the properties of our EVOO.
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The epicurean slurp.....
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What characteristics does our EVOO and local wine share?
Believe it or not they are both considered a fruit juice. YES!!! Both are considered delicate and should be stored away from heat and light. Once opened they should be consumed within a short period of time. When stored correctly, Oregon Olive Oil will last between one and two years - the wine only one week. They are both considered an epicurean delight, high quality products completely grown in Oregon. The varietal of fruit influences the flavor and properties of both EVOO and wine. Also, both are made by
first hand-picking and then crushing the fruit.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is cold pressed in the “production “process and aged for only 30 days before being hand-bottled. Wine takes much longer. Also unlike wine EVOO does not continue to age at home.
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HOW TO TASTE EVOO
Begin by pouring a tablespoon of olive oil into a small glass. Cup the bottom of the glass in your hand to warm the oil; cover the top with your other hand and swirl gently to release the aromas.
Bring the glass to your nose and smell the oil. Take note of the aromas.
Next, take a slurp. As you do, touch your tongue to the back of your top teeth and inhale. This spreads the oil in your mouth and helps release the flavors of the olive oil.
Finally, swallow the oil and take note of the flavors you experience.
A mild stinging in your throat is a good thing and demonstrates the oil is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols. Bitterness at the back of your tongue is also a good thing, and is a sign that what you are tasting is indeed an extra virgin olive oil.
A good Extra Virgin Olive Oil is ...
Look for pleasant fruit flavors characteristic of fresh ripe or green olives. Ripe fruit yields oils that are milder, aromatic, buttery, and floral, while green fruit yields oils that are grassy, herbaceous, bitter, and pungent. Fruitiness also varies with the variety of olive.
Fresh olive oil will have a mostly pleasant acrid flavor sensation on the tongue.
A peppery sensation in the mouth and throat is a sign of abundant nutrients in good, fresh extra virgin olive oil. It's a compound in olive oils which creates this sensation in the throat, and it has similar properties to anti-inflammatory compounds such as ibuprofen.
You can get an indication of an oil's polyphenol level by tasting it -
higher phenol oils typically taste more bitter and are more pungent in the throat.